Reinsurance News

BLM calls for Irish re/insurance scheme to combat flood risk

10th December 2021 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM has called on the Irish Government to consider a review of the flood insurance market in Ireland, including the possibility of establishing an equivalent to the UK’s Flood Re initiative.

Flood insurance and reinsurance imageDevastating flooding has become an increasingly common issue in Ireland, particularly in areas such as Munster, and BLM believes government assistance is required to help the re/insurance market keep up with the growing threat.

A recent report from Gamma Location Intelligence found that almost 70,000 homes throughout Ireland are at risk of flooding with the value of damages estimated to €2 billion.

In the UK, stated-backed reinsurer Flood Re has been developed to make flood insurance more affordable for households at the highest risk of flooding, and BLM believes Ireland could benefit from a similar scheme.

“The devastating effects of flooding are evident and with the predicted impact of climate change, it’s clear that flooding will eventually cause damage to our country’s infrastructure,” said BLM Property Damage expert and Partner Garrett Cormican.

“It is questionable whether current levels of protection offered by existing flood defence structures are adequate,” he continued.

“BLM assisted in establishing and developing Flood Re, which was seen as a ‘world first’ organisation for the insurance market. We can’t stop natural events from taking place but we are in a fortunate position to learn from the Flood Re initiative and implement a suitable alternative for Irish homeowners.”

Olivia Treston, BLM Partner and joint head of office in Dublin, also commented: “We feel very strongly that that Ireland needs a flood insurance framework that works for businesses as well as homeowners. For example, the predicted continuing rise of sea levels and flooding could destroy agricultural livelihoods in low lying areas.”

“BLM would be keen to collaborate with the Irish Government, Insurance Ireland and insurers and develop the right protection against future flooding events,” Treston explained. “We are equipped and ready to take the first step the industry needs to spur it into action and work towards ensuring Ireland is adequately prepared.”

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